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Re: [textualcriticism] B's Deliberate Blank Space and Why It Is There

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  • Daniel B. Wallace
    Thanks for the encouragement, James. As to what I think about the gap in B, I think TCers should know what I originally wrote in my chapter for the book.
    Message 1 of 45 , May 6, 2009
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      Thanks for the encouragement, James. As to what I think about the gap in B, I think TCers should know what I originally wrote in my chapter for the book. Footnote 38 (in my draft anyway) says:

      Although the text of Tobit in Vaticanus is significantly shorter than Tobit in Sinaiticus, the additional material in the latter is spread throughout the book rather than at the end. There are approximately 1600 more words in the Sinaiticus version than in the Vaticanus version. The main verses that are longer in a are Tobit 1.8, 18; 2.2, 3, 10; 3.6, 10, 17; 5.3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 17; 6.4, 13, 14; 7.1, 10, 12, 13; 8.19, 21; 9.5, 6; 10.6, 8, 11, 14; 11.16, 17; 13.13, 17; 14.2, 4, 7, 8, 15. In light of the fact that these are distributed throughout the book and comprise hundreds of more words, it is unlikely that the scribe of Vaticanus is leaving space for such variants (for only a small fraction of the variants could possibly fit in the space provided). The situation is paralleled to some degree by the D text of Acts, which is 8.5% longer than the Alexandrian text; here again, the additions are distributed throughout the book. Yet there, no extra column is found in Vaticanus. Some other explanation for the long gap at the end of Tobit thus must be sought for. This is also seen in 2 Esdras (Nehemiah), for no unusually lengthy textual variant—at the end or anywhere in the book—occurs.
      It could be countered that after 2 Esdras, the Psalms begin and thus a new section of the OT created the gap; and since they are laid out in two columns they would have to begin on a new page. So also Daniel: the NT begins on the next leaf. The same could be said for the gap after John in Sinaiticus (see below). But this argument does not work for Tobit, nor does it work for the large gap at the end of Philemon in Sinaiticus (unless the distinction between Paul’s letters and Acts is in view). Further, if the ‘western’ order of the gospels were the original order once the books were collected, as some have suggested, then Mark would have ended the gospels section in the earliest canonical collection. The gap in Vaticanus could be a vestige from an earlier codex in which the western order was followed. (The same argument could be used for Sinaiticus, since the cancel sheets on which Mark 16 and environs were written were in a different hand—expanded in Mark, cramped in Luke; the original hand of a would have left some room at the end of Mark, but clearly not enough for the LE.) All in all, the reasons for the gaps are anything but clear, which makes arguments based on the supposition that the scribes of Aleph and B knew of the LE or even the intermediate ending tentative at best.

      In the text after this point, I also noted the double dots in B as follows:
      Second, it was recently discovered that the scribes of Vaticanus indicate knowledge of textual variants by using two horizontal dots in the margin next to a line of text where a variant occurs. There are over seven hundred such ‘umlauts’ in the NT of Vaticanus, forty-three of which are in Mark alone. Thus, Codex B marks out half as many variants as the UBS text does! It’s almost as if this is an ancient UBS Greek text. This is a remarkable discovery whose implications have yet to be fully explored. But, significantly, there is no umlaut at 16.8. Thus, the non-unique gap at the end of Mark and the lack of an umlaut here both seem to indicate that the scribe knew only that Mark’s gospel ended at 16.8. To put this another way: of the three other gaps in Vaticanus, not one is used to indicate knowledge of textual variation. So, to argue that this must be the case for the gap at the end of Mark is hardly compelling. And the fact that Vaticanus uses umlauts to indicate textual variants and that no umlaut is present at Mark 16.8 adds significant weight to the likelihood that the gap at the end of Mark does not imply knowledge of any other ending.

      Dan Wallace


      ----- Start Original Message -----
      Sent: Tue, 05 May 2009 21:59:35 -0000
      From: "James Snapp, Jr." <voxverax@...>
      To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [textualcriticism] B's Deliberate Blank Space and Why It Is There

      >
      > Dear Dr. Wallace:

      First, hearty congratulations on the exciting MS-discoveries in Greece.

      Second: I wasn't asking for a repetition of your theory, but for a
      defense. I re-read the thread, and the idea that the scribe of B put a
      blank column after Mk. 16:8 to replicate blank space after Mark in an
      exemplar in which the Gospels closed with Mark still seems as utterly
      groundless as it was the first time. The details about the mechanisms
      that elicited the blank spaces in the OT-portion of B remove whatever
      momentum for such a theory they might have been imagined to provide.

      I hope you will have time to answer some questions:

      (1) Why would an exemplar with a remarkably pure Alexandrian text have
      the Gospels in the "Western" order? What MSS with a strongly Alexandrian
      text would you point to as evidence that such MSS existed in the early
      300's with the Gospels in an order in which Mark appeared last?

      (2) If the scribe of B was using an exemplar of the four Gospels, why
      would he regard blank space at the end of it as anything unusual, instead
      of seeing it as the same sort of blank space that is likely to appear
      after the end of any MS' text?

      (3) If the scribe of B was using an exemplar that had the four Gospels
      followed by Acts, then if he *had* somehow interpreted filler-space after
      Mark as a feature worth replicating, why wouldn't he place the
      filler-space between the end of the Gospels and the beginning of Acts,
      instead of between Mark and Luke?

      (4) Why would a copyist who did not replicate his exemplar's book-order
      replicate a blank space in his exemplar by moving it from a space *after*
      the Gospels to a place *between* Mark and Luke?

      (5) Iirc, in Codex L there is a blank space after John 7:52, but the
      blank space is not large enough to contain the PA. Do you think the
      scribe might have been replicating some leftover space, maybe at the end
      of the first volume of a two-volume copy of John, rather than indicating
      an awareness of a textual variant?

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.




      ----- End Original Message -----
    • Daniel
      ... When we study the topic of blank spaces deliberately left in a ms, we keep coming back to the PA. W has an unusual blank space between John and Luke that
      Message 45 of 45 , May 7, 2009
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        --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "James Snapp, Jr." wrote:
        > In Codex L there is a blank space after John 7:52, but the blank space is not large enough to contain the PA. Do you think the scribe might have been replicating some leftover space, maybe at the end of the first volume of a two-volume copy of John, rather than indicating an awareness of a textual variant?<

        When we study the topic of blank spaces deliberately left in a ms, we keep coming back to the PA. W has an unusual blank space between John and Luke that may have been left for the PA--or might it be a relic of W's exemplar in which the gospels ended at John?

        Delta is an intersting study in blank spaces. Delta's scribe left a blank space for a variant reading that s/he:
        1) Later appears to have filled in from another exemplar (Mark 9:29);
        2) Never did end up filling in (Mark 10:19);
        3) Remembered was supposed to be there only after writing the rest of the line omitting it(PA).

        At John 7:52, Delta reads, on the fifth line of page 348:
        EGEIRETAI. PALIN. OUN.AUTOIS O _IS_.ELALHSEN LEGWN.
        But then the scribe stops before even reaching the margin, lines out all but the first word, and, leaving the entire rest of the page blank (with an asterisk at the front of the last line), starts back up at the top of page 349 with:
        PALIN.OUN AUTOIS O _IS_.ELALHSEN LEGWN.EGW.EIMI.TO.FWS.
        (with an obelus taking the place of the second EST above ELALHSEN!)

        images here:
        http://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/csg/0048/167/medium
        http://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/csg/0048/170/medium
        http://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/csg/0048/348/medium

        Another explanation, I suppose, is that Delta's scribe had heard of the PA's existence at the end of a book of the gospels, and was therefore replicating the corpus-ending blank space in that hypothetical exemplar.

        Daniel Buck
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